At Paris Fashion Week in the fall, New York design brand threeASFOUR teamed up with St. Louis-based production company Stars Design Group to launch asONE, a clothing line curated specifically to be accessible to a wider audience.
This new collection debuted as one of the label’s most inclusive lines yet, including gender-neutral garments ranging from pants, tops and dresses to accessories, including threeASFOUR’s signature circle bag, which was featured in Vogue earlier this year. The goal of the collection is to make high fashion couture accessible to more consumers in terms of price, sizing and gender inclusivity, explains Gabi Asfour, founder and designer at the label.
When presenting the Kundalini line, of which many of the pieces from the asONE line were inspired, at New York Fashion Week in 2021, Asfour shared that the brand was looking to grow. So, when a mutual design contact between the label and Stars suggested a partnership, it presented the perfect fit.
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“We were ready for expansion and somebody to partner with for a while. It seemed like the right fit because they really understood it,” Asfour says of the St. Louis-based company.
Founded more than 20 years ago by industry experts, Stars Design Group is a leading design and production company. Emily Lane, its chief strategy officer, explains that the company mostly plays a supporting role in working with major brands and retailers to help design and produce apparel.
“We’re often that silent partner behind the scenes that helps bring clothing lines to life,” Lane says. And, while Stars might work well behind the scenes, the production company has involvement throughout the entire process of bringing a line to the market.
From bringing leading technology to the process with 3D animation that conceptualizes each design in a realistic way, to providing all the technical support for patternmaking and finalizing the blueprints for production, the company’s experts work closely with designers to make sure the final version of a garment is as close to their original vision as possible.
When scaling the collection, retaining the integrity of threeASFOUR’s original pattern – a curvilinear design based on fractal geometry, exemplifying the branching effect of growth in nature – was paramount.
“Most of natural growth is curvilinear,” Asfour says, pointing out the branching nature of veins and muscles that make up the body’s systems. “The body is basically a curvilinear growth, and so we follow those growths and energies to construct the clothing on the outside.”
In design, cut and pattern, the asONE collection intentionally features imagery meant to raise awareness about plastic pollution and the plight of marine life. And, while the garments’ materials are still primarily manufactured fibers from petrochemicals, Stars’ designer-in-residence and associate professor in fashion design at Washington University in St. Louis, Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, is experimenting to transform the production process to be as waste-free as possible.
In a patented process Ruppert-Stroescu dubbed RECLEM, waste that accumulates from the production process (runway fabric offcuts, mostly) can be repurposed into new garments.
“What I do is sew the little scraps of fabric onto a biodegradable surface in the shape of the pattern piece,” she says. “Then, I stitch them all together with the computerized long-arm quilting machine. And then you wash it and the white biodegradable stuff goes away, so we have a brand new garment with a unique fabric made with zero waste.”
threeASFOUR has a legacy of creating pieces with a message, Ruppert-Stroescu explains, which has made the label a leader in centering sustainability in the fashion world.
The asONE collection will be available to the public in the spring of 2023 in a variety of specialty boutiques worldwide and by online order direct to consumers.
Stars Design Group, 1301 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-771-9152, starsdesigngroup.com
threeASFOUR, New York, 212-203-3269, threeASFOUR.com
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